In February, the Golden One and Survive the Jive published a video in which they discuss topics including traditionalism, religion, and the recent Cheddar Man controversy, among others. One major topic they cover is the definition of ‘traditionalism’ and how it relates to religion. They say they prefer Germanic paganism over Christianity because paganism seems to provide a better system for preserving European peoples and traditions. In a similar vein, the Golden One emphasizes his respect for Islam because it empowers its adherents with a passion to preserve their people, culture, and traditions. Yet it seems that the Golden One and Survive the Jive are missing a crucial aspect of Christianity and religions in general. This is because their outlook on religion is being skewed by their attachment to traditionalism and perennial philosophy.
Survive the Jive says that ‘traditionalism’ stems from a philosophical position known as sophia perennis or perennial philosophy. Perennial philosophy is a school of thought that believes there is an ultimate divine source of all wisdom and being. A major proponent of perennial philosophy, Huston Smith, explains that perennial philosophy entails a belief that reality involves four different hierarchical tiers that form parts of the whole: God unmanifest (ineffable Godhead), God manifest (God with personal attributes), the invisible world (mind, thought, feelings), and the visible world (space, time, matter).1 This suprapersonal Godhead is the highest, most perfect, and most real tier of reality, and humans reside somewhere between the lower two tiers. The lower two tiers, however, are not separate from the higher, but are like smaller circles within bigger circles.2 Thus, perennial philosophy (as explained by Huston Smith) is basically a form of multilevel Pantheism.3
Concerning religion, perennial philosophy holds that this suprapersonal God has revealed Itself in ways that humans can understand (in personal terms) to different cultures at different times. Perennial philosopher Aldous Huxley explains that perennial philosophy is
the metaphysic that recognizes a divine Reality substantial to the world of things and lives and minds; the psychology that finds in the soul something similar to, or even identical with, divine Reality; the ethic that places man’s final end in the knowledge of the immanent and transcendent Ground of all being;
Rudiments of the Perennial Philosophy may be found among the traditionary lore of primitive peoples in every region of the world, and in its fully developed forms it has a place in every one of the higher religions.4
In keeping with this idea that there is a universal truth manifested to all of humanity, perennial philosophers believe that all of the world’s major religions are valid because they all point humans back to the Godhead. No one religion is more true than the others, because they all are different cultural systems that serve to point humans to the Truth.
As mentioned, Survive the Jive and the Golden One discuss Christianity, Islam, and paganism in light of their mutual adherence to perennial philosophy. The Golden One shares that, although he is a supporter of Christianity, he believes Germanic paganism produces a better form of traditionalism, which serves as a better way to help European peoples preserve themselves and their culture. For example, he mentions that he prefers the pagan view that people are guilty only when they have done something wrong as opposed to the Christian view that people are inherently sinful.
On the subject of traditionalism, the Golden One says that he has a respect for Islam because Muslims are so passionate about their culture, people, and traditions. Specifically, he says,
I want to see what makes them strong, because they are very passionate about what they are doing…they have a fire within them…I want the same thing but perhaps in, for us, a pagan version…What I want to see is that they have something. I want to know what it is, and I want to utilize it to revive our own spirituality, our own culture.5
The Golden One is not endorsing Islam but is acknowledging that Muslims are extremely motivated by Islam to promote and spread their religion, culture, and peoples. The Golden One is hoping that something can be integrated into paganism that will help similarly motivate Europeans.
Yet there is a major concept that eludes the Golden One and Survive the Jive. They do not realize (or are downplaying) that Muslims do not view Islam as just another way to a suprapersonal, ineffable Godhead. Muslims do not believe in perennial philosophy. Instead, most Muslims believe that Islam is objectively true, and that all other religions are false. Muslims believe Allah created the world and sent prophets to reveal Himself, the chief of prophets being Muhammad. They think that believers will literally go to a paradise after they die if they do more good deeds than bad, and unbelievers who do not submit to Allah will literally go to hell forever. This belief in their worldview’s objective truth is the main reason why Muslims are so passionate about their faith. This is what drives them.
It is hard to imagine how paganism could ever be viewed as objectively true. Many pagans today view paganism as an ethos, and the gods of their pantheon (e.g. Odin, Njord, and Frigga) as archetypes. These kinds of pagans do not believe that the gods to whom they pray literally exist; instead the gods are examples who ought to be emulated. Even if paganism is joined with perennial philosophy, its pantheon of gods would still ultimately serve as an incorrect way of understanding the Godhead. So, in either case, if people turn to paganism, they are following gods that do not actually exist. There is no way for pagans to think their beliefs are objectively true, and no hope of going to Valhalla or Helheim. Moreover, if all religions are ways to the same Godhead, then there is no good religious reason for one culture to resist being assimilated by another culture.
This inadequacy serves as a major reason why the Alt-Right should reject paganism and embrace Christianity. In regard to the Golden One’s quest for a religion that invokes passion, Christianity claims to be objectively true. In 1 Corinthians 15, the apostle Paul emphasizes that Christianity has its basis in the historical resurrection of Jesus Christ and that if Jesus did not rise, Christians are to be pitied the most because of their false hope. Christians believe that one day Jesus will literally return to the earth, defeat His enemies once for all, and raise the dead. After the dead are raised, believers will live with Jesus in a new Heaven and new Earth forever, while unbelievers will be cast into outer darkness for all eternity. Christians believe humans are inherently sinful, but Christians also believe that Jesus Christ’s death on the cross paid the price for all sins, and those who accept Jesus as their Savior are forgiven.
Second, not only do Christians believe that Christianity is objectively true — which itself furnishes better reasons to live by it — but there is also an abundance of evidence that shows Christianity is true. For example, the Kalām cosmological argument demonstrates that there must be an all-powerful, all-knowing, and personal Cause of the universe.6 Coinciding with the Kalām argument, evidence from contemporary science suggests that all of time, space, and matter began from a singularity 13.7 billion years ago. Scientists often describe this beginning of our universe as ‘something coming from nothing’. This suggests that there must be an external Cause of our universe, which would negate the perennial belief that the universe is merely a tier within the Godhead.
In addition to evidence for God’s existence, there is much historical evidence for the life, death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ. For example, the Bible contains four separate sources (the Gospels) that attest to Jesus’s resurrection within a generation of the events, and there are ancient non-Christian sources that refer to Jesus, including the writings of Josephus, Tacitus, Suetonius, Thallus, and several others.7 Many of the apostles of Jesus went to their deaths proclaiming that they saw the risen Jesus, and Christianity commenced in Jerusalem where no one would gain from spreading the Christian message among the Jews and Romans, both of whom were hostile to Christianity.
If the Golden One wants a religion that can incite passion in its adherents, he should look no further than Christianity. Sure, many Christians today are cucks. But that does not mean the truth of Jesus’s resurrection should be ignored. Jesus Christ is the Lord of all nations, and (as Faith and Heritage readers should know) there are zero commands from God in the Bible for humans to open their borders to foreigners and practice miscegenation. This means that each nation can keep its identity while also serving Christ. The Golden One and Survive the Jive, and other red-pilled Europeans (whether pagan or atheist), would be wise to consider the evidence for the objective truth of Christianity.8 Christians in the Alt-Right can resist cultural Marxism and other degenerate philosophies because Christians know that no matter what happens in this life, our Lord is a warrior and will one day return to put all nations and peoples under His feet. We can spend our lives furthering our people, culture, and traditions in the attempt to glorify God with the assurance that one way or another, we will prevail by God’s grace.
- Huston Smith, Beyond the Postmodern Mind: The Place of Meaning in a Global Civilization, 3rd ed. (Wheaton: Quest Books, 2003), 48-53. ↩
- Smith, Beyond the Postmodern Mind, 61. ↩
- Pantheism is the belief that God/ultimate reality just is the universe. For example, Hinduism is a pantheistic religion because it believes everything is part of Brahman. Multilevel pantheism is the belief that there are different levels or tiers of reality, all of which are God/ultimate reality. ↩
- Aldous Huxley, The Perennial Philosophy (1944; repr., New York: HarperCollins, 2009), vii. ↩
- The Golden One. “Survive The Jive & The Golden One. Traditionalism, Paganism, Islam, Evola, Guenon, The Cheddar Man”. https://youtu.be/Y80I62eH6g8?t=9m51s. ↩
- See William Lane Craig, Kalām Cosmological Argument (Eugene, Wipf and Stock, 2000). ↩
- See Gary R. Habermas, The Historical Jesus: Ancient Evidence for the Life of Christ (Joplin: College Press, 1996). ↩
- For a great beginner’s guide to the truth of Christianity, see William Lane Craig, On Guard for Students: A Thinker’s Guide to the Christian Faith (Colorado Springs: David C Cook, 2015). ↩